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Two W.Va. Students Named U.S. Senate Youth Scholars

January 11, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two students from Monongalia and Greenbrier counties on Wednesday were named U.S. Senate Youth Program Scholarship winners and will represent West Virginia in Washington, D.C., this spring.

Joshua Childs of Morgantown and Magdalen Karrs of Ronceverte were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 50th Anniversary Washington Week  to be held March 3-10. Both students also receive $5,000 scholarships.

“An in-depth knowledge of democracy and how our government works plays an increasingly important role in today’s global economy,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “Both Joshua and Magdalen will be immersed in the workings of this country. They should be proud of their accomplishment.”

Childs attends Morgantown High School where he serves as senior class president. In addition, Childs is active as a volunteer, having completed more than 200 hours of community service. He is also a member of the school basketball team and volunteers at a youth basketball camp each summer. He plans to pursue a degree in political science upon graduation.

Magdalen Karrs attends Greenbrier East High School where she serves as a Student Council representative. In addition, Karrs is a member of chorus, varsity soccer, varsity tennis and cross country. She is a three-year member of the school newspaper, where she currently serves as co-editor-in-chief. She also is very active in her church and community. After high school, Karrs plans to study history in college and later attend law school.

Chosen as alternates to the 2012 merit-based program were Phillip Mickinac of New Manchester, a student at Oak Glen High School in Hancock County, and Scott Ashley of Clendenin, a student at Roane County High School.

The chief educational officer in each state selects the delegates after nomination by teachers and principals. West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple named the West Virginia delegates. The winners were announced by U.S. Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, both D-W.Va. The two West Virginia students will join other delegates from every state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense education system for a week of intensive study of the federal government and the U.S. Senate in particular.

While in Washington the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators and congressional staff, the president, a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and top members of the national media. The students also will tour many of the national monuments and several museums and will stay at the historic Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.

The leadership program was established in 1962 by Senate Resolution 324. Since then, about 5,000 students have participated in the program.  Each student delegate also receives a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. The scholarships, transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are provided by The Hearst Foundations.

Contact Joey Wiseman, social studies coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, at (304) 558-7805, or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699 for more information.

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